Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What I hold onto at school

There are a few things I have kept at school to give me reminders and help me regain strength when I feel like I'm losing it. 
 This is the rock Amy gave me.  Sometimes I literally hold it in the palm of my hand.

This is a gift from Karen.  She wrote me a note that said it is a "good reminder of what to hold on to."  She is so right.

This was from two teachers I work with, Wendy and Mary.  I cried and cried when I found it on my desk one morning last week.  This picture is the background on my phone right now.

At home I have cards and flowers everywhere.  I was wondering this morning how people who don't have loved ones in their lives get through loss.  I wouldn't have made it through those first few days without the people in my life.  Family, friends, acquaintances, authors. other blog writers.  And they are still there for me, still praying for me.  I can feel it.

At school today I had a bad moment.  Bad, as in, I thought I was going to need to run out of the room because I was going to break down in a sob in front of 6 other teachers.  We were having a meeting and talking about when our next one would be.  The date that was thrown out there was September 11th.  That day has a double meaning for me now.  It was the day our 12 week appointment was scheduled.  We would have heard our baby's heartbeat that day.  I held it together, just barely, but I swear to you, I felt my heart twist in pain. 

As I was writing this entry, I got really sad again.  I let the computer sit idle while Jeff hugged me and let me cry on his shoulder.  I almost was angry with myself because I have had such a wonderful last couple days.  I don't want to shed more tears. I am so tired of crying. 

But I know I am still healing and I know from listening to others that I need to allow myself time to heal. 

It's okay to cry.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The small things

I'm having a hard time focusing on big things, big events.  But the small things, they are my lifeline right now.  Like listening to Aiden sing me a song or watching him jump off the coffee table to the sofa and laughing hysterically, or my mom making Aiden's animals do "olympic diving" in the bathtub, or Jeff making a silly joke, or an email from Amy about her girls, or eating an entire cookie cake in 4 days.  These are the things that are getting me through each day and helping me focus on the fact that I am SO incredibly blessed.  These are the things that are making me smile and laugh again.

This weekend was wonderful.  Family, church, puppies, Target, Aiden, Aiden, Aiden. 

Today was pretty good.  My nurse called to tell me that my HCG levels have gone down to 400.  That's "good".  I still have to go back for another blood test and ultrasound on Thursday.   My body is continuing to empty itself (I've tried saying that in so many different ways..nothing sounds right).  Still a lot of blood and some clots but not as much cramping.  I decided not to take the pills Dr. Lyons gave me.  It was so awful last weekend, I don't want to go through that again.  I will wait and see what the ultrasound shows on Thursday and go from there. 

I have started thinking about things like, "What will I do when I need my hair cut again?"  I told my long time hair stylist I was pregnant, last time I got my hair cut.  She will be expecting me to be bigger when I go in next time.  Will she say something?  Should I bring it up? Should I tell her on the phone before I go in?  Will I cry?   Or,  how I will react and what I will say when people ask things like, "When are you guys going to have more kids?" or "Why aren't you on your second one yet?"  And people do ask, and they mean no harm whatsoever,  but what am I going to do when they ask me?  I will never, ever again ask anyone a question like this.  I know I shouldn't bother myself with thoughts like this, but I do and sometimes I feel it consuming me.  I thought about the hair question for a half an hour getting ready yesterday morning. 

I will continue to hold on to the "small things".... I put them in quotations because I have realized that the small things in life are NOT small at all. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The "baby" folder

This was the day we found out. 

Tonight I saw the folder on my desktop named "baby".  I opened it and found the collection of pictures and videos I had already started for this new baby.  I want to drag it to the trash on my computer but first I needed to put them somewhere safe so if I ever need or want to come back and look at them, I can.

Today I got to spend the day with Aiden, my mom, and my sister's new puppy.  My mom told me it was good to see me smile and hear my laugh.  Minus the cramping and bleeding, I felt really good today and I did smile and laugh.  I even went for a run.  It was a good Saturday.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I was angry today.  On my way to my ultrasound I got angry that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.  Then I turned on 89.1 to hear some soothing music and literally the first thing I hear is Eric talking about Mandy being gone because she is 9 months pregnant and… and then I turned it off and got mad again.  Then I got to Mercy and saw Jeff and was a bit better.  Then we walked inside.

Everyone was pregnant and happy or had a tiny little baby and happy.  So while I was filling out a form asking if I was having a regular period, how many pregnancies I have been through, and if I was feeling depressed, I had to witness all the happiness that pregnancy brings.  I was so mad.  I wasn’t mad at the women themselves, I was mad at my situation and that it had to be me. 

Then they called us back to have the ultrasound.  I waited for the tech to get out a robe and have me undress from the waist down, but instead she had me lie down and pull my dress up over my belly.  I didn’t know I was getting that kind of an ultrasound and it took me off-guard.  The only other time I had that done was when we got to see Aiden for the first time.  I started crying and Jeff rubbed my arm and the tech said, “So how was your summer?”.  Excuse my French, but “what the hell?”  I don’t know if I said anything but after a bit Jeff said, “Well it’s over now, back to school.”  Bless him for filling the awkward silence and turning my thoughts from smacking her. 

After the torture was over, she asked me to undress from the waist down and empty my bladder so she could now do “the other kind of ultrasound”.  So the torture wasn’t over it seemed.  She didn’t say another word to us and I decided to just empty my head and stare at the blank TV screen to the left of me.  It worked until I realized the screen I was looking at was supposed to have our baby on it.  Will I ever be able to look at things the same?

She had me clean up, dress, and head to the waiting room to wait for them to call me back to see Dr. Lyons.  So back out the pregnant women and babies we went.  I just kept my eyes on my chair and Jeff talked to me.  He made me laugh once, which was a giant feat at that point in time.  I can’t even remember what he said.  After about 30 minutes they called us back.

The nurse came in after an hour of waiting in Dr. Lyon’s room.  She asked more stupid questions, like “Are you having your period?” and I continued to become angrier.  The only other time I felt this angry with another person was just an hour and a half earlier in the ultrasound room, and when I called to schedule my first ultrasound earlier in the week.  After I had explained what the ultrasound was for, the lady said “Okay, so do you want me to go ahead and cancel your 12 week appointment with Dr. Lyons then?”  Again, excuse my French, but “What the HELL!”

Dr Lyons came in after another 15 minutes and told us that I still had a lot of lining in my uterus.  She gave us our options:
1. Schedule a D&C, which at this point she didn’t completely recommend, but did say that it would be one procedure and it would be over.  However she made a point to say, “It is a surgery, you will be in the surgical room, you will be put under, and it is costly.”  Bless her for being honest. 
2.  Get more pills from her, do that whole thing again, and come back for an ultrasound in a week and more blood work.
3.  Just let my body take over and come back in a week for an ultrasound and more blood work. 

She recommended number 2, since I had “good results” with the first set of pills.  I hate writing that.  Good results?  I truly love our doctor, but please stop saying that.

We got the pills, she very gently took our hands in hers and shook them, and then asked if we had any more questions.  I asked one question. “When can I start running again?”  Seems silly doesn’t it?  At the time its all I could think about doing.  (Proof that running out my anger must really work, because I was very angry and all I wanted to do was run.)   She smiled and told me it wasn’t a silly question (which is what I prefaced my question by saying) and I can start running whenever I want to. 

Then it was off to the lab for more blood work. After the nurse poked me 2 times, unsuccessfully (and OUCH..really, really OUCH), she said “I’m going to try your other arm I think…oh, and don’t let me forget to keep some cotton ball beneath the Band-Aid afterwards.  I forgot to do that with another patient this morning and there was blood everywhere.”  I’m not making any of that up.  Third time was a charm, thank God. 

Just when I thought things could not, in any way, get worse during this trip to Mercy, they did.  We were waiting in line to check out and a friend of Jeff’s and his very pregnant wife and 2 kids get in line behind us.  Jeff, being the wonderful person he is, made small talk, asked about their pregnancy, and said HI to the kids.  At this time I was just trying not to crumple up into a little ball on the floor and sob.  He introduced me and while I gave a pathetic smile and waved all I could think was “Please do not ask us if we are expecting.”  They didn’t.  I wonder if they could see on my face the pleading.  I wonder if everyone can? 

Finally we scheduled our next ultrasound and left.  Before we even hit the outside world I broke down.  It’s NOT fair.  This should have been our appointment to hear the babies heart beat.

Jeff hugged me hard and then I called my mom and cried. 

When I got back to school I was still not in a good place.  But when I walked in my classroom I found a giant cookie cake (my favorite) and flowers and cards sitting on my desk. My team is thoughtful and sweet and caring and loving.  I went and found a plastic fork in my cupboard and dug in.  I started feeling a little less mad.  People love me, and I love cookie cake. 

The day drug on and finally it was time to go get my Aiden.  Best part of the day yet.  Every time I look at him I remember that even though this awful, awful thing is happening, I am truly blessed.  My baby angel.

Val brought us supper.  Chicken, noodles, salad, dressing, bread, and brownies (with sprinkles, per her kids’ request).  The simple act of dropping off supper is not a so simple act.  It lifted our spirits and gave us more time with our son tonight.  It was an incredibly generous thing to do and we appreciate her.  I know I keep saying this, but people are so good.

Jeff and I went to a movie tonight.  What did I want to do?  Not go to a movie.  But Jeff thought it would be a good idea for us to go, so I did. And I’m glad I did.  We saw the movie “Campaign” with Will Ferrell and I laughed.  I laughed at several parts and I felt good. I love laughing.  It is such a simple thing that I took for granted. 

I woke up angry, very angry. And now I am going to bed not angry.  I can’t say happy, because I’m not there yet, but I’m okay and I am excited to see Aiden in the morning.  And we get to see Ashley’s new puppy.  And I get to see my mom. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Today is the day

Today is the day I have decided to share my story.  It has been 2 weeks and 1 day since I first saw blood and began to feel that something wasn't right.  It has been 1 week and 5 days since I couldn't see a baby on the ultrasound screen.  Those numbers seem so small.  I used a calendar to figure them. If you were to ask me how long it's been without seeing a calendar, I would say a lifetime.  The person I was 2 weeks ago was a different person than I am now.  I am forever changed. 

Today I woke up with no blood to be found, save for a few drops, on the pad.
I felt a sense of relief wash over me. Maybe it would finally stop and I could rid
myself of one more reminder. I was so wrong.

When I got to school I started getting bad cramps and there was a lot of pressure “down there”. I went to the bathroom during specials, which was about an hour and a half after getting to school. There
was so much blood and lots…and lots .. of blood clots. I called my doctors office.
The nurse told me that she suspected the pills had done their job and now my body
was taking over. She also told me I needed to rest, drink lots of water, and probably
head to the E.R. if the clots were still large and hadn’t stopped by afternoon. Just as I
thought I was beginning to heal physically, it started over again. Not being sure how much
more I could handle, I decided to go home for the day. I called in a sub and left. I
had never, ever in my 6 years of teaching, done that.

The clotting did get better.  It didn't completely stop, but it got better and the cramping did stop.  I picked Aiden up early from Lori's, which made him happy, which in turn, made me happy.  We went over to Amy's house to play with the girls.  It's nice to have company to try and combat the isolation that I feel. It's also nice to be around a friend that doesn't need you to explain your feelings because she already knows and understands. 

My story doesn't stop here.  It will continue and I will continue to write for as long as I need to.  Some people have asked if I will join a group or see a therapist.  I'm not sure yet.  Right now, THIS is what I need. I need to write it all down, I need to recognize my feelings and share them with the people I love.  What I need from you?  I need prayers for a brighter future...and hope.  

Pastor Mike

Wednesday morning I was sad, mad, and confused again. School, being my own
little therapy, was good. The students need me and I have to be “okay” when I am
there. Karen came in to check on me in the morning. We talked a lot about God and
the fact that even now she has a hard time accepting it. She let me talk to her about
what has been going on physically and emotionally the last couple days. It really
did make me feel better to talk about it with someone who truly knows what its
like. Val came in after school to talk too. We talked about grief, pain, coping, and we
talked about being mommies. She was wonderful. I have found peace and solace in
people I never thought to turn to.

That night Jeff and I met with Pastor Mike. He told us how sorry he was for our loss
and asked how it all came about. I started but then couldn’t finish and Jeff picked
up where I left off. Mike said a lot of things to us but I took Val’s advice and tried to
find one or two things that he said that I could hold one to. Those things were this:

He quoted the verse in the Bible from Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you.” He told us that God was holding our baby when he was with us and he
is still holding our baby. That even though we will never hold the baby, or live with
the baby the way we had planned, He will. That our baby is with him, and we will
be someday too.

I told him that people have said to me a lot, “This was God’s plan, “ and I didn’t think
that God would do this to me, he wouldn’t want me to feel this way. He told me that
he didn’t like when people said that. He just had a funeral for a little boy that day that ran out in front of a car. Someone at the funeral said, “Well, this was God’s plan
for him.” Pastor Mike said he got very upset because God didn’t do that to that little
boy, that was an accident. Just like God didn’t say, “I need more unborn children”
and choose our baby to take. However, he did say that God looks after us all and
this baby was not going to be okay. So nature, which in essence, was God’s doing,
stopped the pregnancy.

He asked what I had been doing to cope. I said I was just trying to get through one
day at a time. And praying, a lot. He asked what I had found in that. I told him
that I asked God “Why?” a lot, and I also told him my story of finding God in burps
and farts the night before. He enjoyed the latter and his response to the prior was
beautiful. I can’t reproduce what he told us exactly, but what I took from it was that we
will always be asking “Why?” and sometimes it takes time to find the answers, and
sometimes we will never know the answers. He said that we don’t always tell our
children the truth because they can’t comprehend the answers and/or they aren’t
ready to hear the answers. God does the same thing with his children. I will never
really know “Why” this happened to us, at this time, with this baby, but eventually I
will be okay with that fact.

He gave me a small booklet to read and prayed with us. The prayer I will never
forget. He prayed for our baby. I hadn’t done that yet. He told the Lord to continue
to be with us through this time and that we would be able to be with our baby
someday and then forever more.

Did he fix everything and make me feel normal again?  No.  But I came home feeling more at peace and continued to replay those 3 things in my head that I chose to hold on to. 

One day at a time.

Answered prayers

Monday was back to school. It was hard to leave Aiden, as it always is. The day
went well. I kept busy at school and when I got home my parents were here to greet
me, make supper, and keep me company. This was the first day I didn’t break down
into sobs. I couldn’t believe I went the whole day, especially because there was still
a lot of blood, and I scheduled my ultrasound for Friday. Again, I starting feeling like
I may actually be okay.

Tuesday morning was back to feeling sad, mad, and confused. I didn’t want to be
at school, I just wanted to be at home with my Aiden and my parents. I talked to a
teacher at school, Val. Her dad is a Methodist minister and I wanted to ask her if
she would talk to him about scriptures, books..anything,  that he could give me to help me
cope. I knew I wanted to talk to Pastor Mike, but didn’t think I was ready. I didn’t
want to go in there and treat it like a therapy session, I wanted to go in there and
know that he is my Pastor and I need him in that way alone. Val cried with me and
hugged me and told me that she didn’t know my pain, but she knew grief. She lost
her brother several years ago and she told me that I needed to allow myself to feel
sad and grieve for my loss. She said she went to Pastor Mike and it was very good
for her, and she encouraged me to think about it. She emailed me that night and said
a few things: That she was bringing us dinner Friday night, that if I needed to move
one day, hour, or even minute at a time, I could, and that she had talked to her dad.
He offered to call and talk with me if I wanted. After thinking about it, I decided to
meet with Pastor Mike first. I needed it and realized, for some reason just at that
moment, that Jeff would be there with me and if I couldn’t talk he could.

Tuesday night I felt okay, until bedtime. I was changing my pad…again, and
thought, “This blood was supposed to be for my baby.” And I lost it. The sadness
washed over me completely and I sat on the toilet and sobbed and sobbed and
sobbed. I also prayed and prayed and prayed. I asked God to get me through this
and help me find the other side of this. That time I was only talking about this moment in time. I knew it would come back, but I wanted Him to take the sadness away, at
this moment in time, and give me peace, at this moment in time. Jeff came in after a bit and told me to come to bed. I didn’t want to yet so I went out to the living room. He followed me
out, lay down by me on the couch and rubbed my back. He told me “It’s going to be
okay.” And I got angry with him. Because at that point I didn’t think it was EVER
going to be “okay”. We lost a baby we were supposed to have forever and it was not
going to be okay. And he just continued to rub my back and wipe my tears away.
A great man. A wonderful husband.

I calmed down a bit and just when I thought I could get up and go back to bed I felt it coming back. Just as it hit me again Lilly trotted out, jumped up in my lap, got right in my face, and burped, loud, and it stunk.The sadness moved back and I even smiled. “That was God. That was Him.” I got
up but instead of walking into our bedroom, I walked into Aiden’s room. I needed
to see him right then. I lay beside him and rubbed his back for a bit. And then I
felt that sadness coming back and washing over me again. Just as the tears started
spilling over, Aiden farted. Loud and long and juicy. And the sadness moved back
again and I giggled. “That was God. That was Him.” He knows that Lilly and Aiden
have been my strength through this and he used them to help me get through the
sadness that continued to wash over me that night. He answered my prayers.

The calm, and the storm

Saturday morning we went to a parade with Aiden and it was nice. He loved it and
that made me happy. It was good to be outside in the fresh air and see my son get
excited about tractors and monster trucks. I felt…okay.

That afternoon I talked to Dr. Lyons. She told me what the nurse had told me on Thursday, that yes, my numbers had dropped. She also told me I could take the pills if I want to speed up
the process. She warned me that I would have some severe cramping and probably
a lot of bleeding depending on how much is left. Even to write that last part is
almost unbearable. That “what was left” was my baby.

That night I inserted the 4 pills and laid down for an hour and a half, as instructed by
my doctor. Jeff made me a bed on the sofa and we cuddled. I didn’t feel much over
the course of that time, just some mild cramping.         

Calm before the storm.

I thought I had been pretty prepared for what was going to happen to my body,
but I was completely mistaken. When I went to the bathroom before bed I noticed
I had started bleeding. It was devastating, but I still had no idea. I woke up
at 12:20 with the worst cramps I have ever felt. I couldn’t breathe and soon I realized that I was having actual contractions. I timed them. They lasted about
40 seconds with about 20-40 seconds in between. And the blood. There was so
much. I couldn’t even cry, I think I was in shock. It didn’t seem real and I kept
thinking, “I don’t understand.” “This can’t be happening, this feeling was supposed
to happen in March and there was supposed to be a baby after this feeling stopped.”
And I prayed…like crazy. “God I need you to get me through this.” “God I need
strength.” “God please make it stop.” “God…why??” I was up for a couple hours until
finally the Tylenol Jeff gave me kicked in a bit and I was able to fall asleep.

When I woke up the next morning, Sunday, the bleeding was still extremely bad. I kept
thinking about how long it would have taken me to pass all of this without the help
of the pills… and it wasn’t even over yet. I hated what I was going through but I
knew that I couldn’t have done this for weeks and weeks. The cramps had subsided
a little bit, but were still disabling, and I was still in shock, so Jeff told me to go back
to bed. I slept for another couple hours and woke up to more blood and cramping.
I had no idea how long this would last and it was terrifying. This day was another
broken one, until my parents got here. I saw my dad for the first time, which I had
not stopped thinking about all day, and it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. I thought I
would fall down in a heap at his feet and sob, and I didn’t know how he would react.
When we saw each other, he hugged me and told me he loved me. That was all I
needed from him. And then we started talking about Aiden, my saving grace. It was
good to have my parents there that night. I even caught myself laughing two times,
and I meant it and felt it. It was so amazing to feel happy, even if it were only for a
short period of time. I felt like I may actually be okay, eventually.


Thursday was the second day of school. Once again, it was therapy for me. When I
was walking to my room Monique saw me in the hall and asked how my arms were.
I was confused for a moment, but then realized she was talking about where they
draw my blood. I showed her my bruises, we got teary eyed, I thanked her again for
the card and for caring, and we went our separate ways.

I got an email from Jeff saying that the doctor’s office called him with results from
my bloodwork. He said I could call if I wanted or wait until after school. I called at
lunch. Even though I knew the results before hearing them it was still hard. I called
back after school to talk with Dr. Lyons nurse myself. She said my HCG level was
at 19,000 on Saturday and Monday it went up to 21, 000 which is why they wanted
me to come back Wednesday. Wednesday it was at 17,000. I asked what I was
supposed to do; I didn’t know what to do. She said Dr. Lyons would be back in the
office the next day and she would decide what the next step was, but she thought
she would want me to come back in a week to have my blood drawn again. She said
she was so very sorry and then we hung up.

I’m so glad my mom and sister were at our house. I broke down again. I cried while
my mom hugged me and told me she wished she could take it all away. I wished she
could have too.

Jeff and I decided to go out to T.J. to get something for ourselves, maybe that would
make us feel a tad better. The second we got there I didn’t want to be there. It
didn’t make me feel better. Not at all. We pulled back in the garage and I just
couldn’t stop the tears. I just didn’t understand how I wasn’t pregnant anymore. It
didn’t make sense, just a week ago I thought I was almost 8 weeks pregnant and had
a baby inside of me with a beating heart and organs and arm and leg buds. How?

Friday was an okay day. Third day of school. Jeff’s parents came over. His mom
hugged me and talked to me about her experience and told me the same things that
everyone that has been through this has said: “It’s okay to be sad.” “Let yourself
grieve.” Because this has been a trend I thought more and more about it and
realized that they are all right. I DO need to let myself feel the pain and hurt and not
try to be “strong”.

Amy and Stacy came over because Jeff went to a movie with Joel
and I didn’t want to be alone. We talked and watched a movie together. I was so
grateful to have them with me. So blessed to have these wonderful people in my life.


Wednesday was the first day of school. It was like therapy to have the students
there and needing me. I still couldn’t be around the adults much. Small talk seemed
so…irrelevant. And I didn’t want people asking me if I was okay. Because what
would I say?

At the end of the day I felt exhausted, because it was the first day of
school and because I had gone many, many hours without breaking down. I was
walking back to my room to let loose when Monique, a fourth grade teacher who
I don’t know very well and I’m a little intimidated by, came up behind me and
asked how my day was. I very briefly turned and said, “Okay” and turned back
around to keep walking. Then she said, “Mandy” and when I turned back around
she was crying. Hard. She grabbed me and hugged me so tightly. I was completely
taken off guard. She said lots of things to me all at once, “I’m so sorry”, “It will get
better”, “Time will help”, “I know how much it hurts”. I didn’t say much to her
except “I’m so sad.” She gave me a card and said she went through it and the card
would explain a bit more. We were interrupted by another teacher so she went on
her way, but I will never forget that moment, nor will I ever look at her in the same
way I used to. She told me in her card that she went through it at the beginning of
the school year many years ago. She said she was thinking of me and her door was
always open if I needed to talk. There are angels everywhere.

As I was getting ready to leave school to go to yet another lab appointment Wendy
asked how I was. I couldn’t hold it in after the encounter with Monique and I lost it.
I told her I wasn’t okay and she pulled me into her room and hugged me. I told her
what had happened and she listened and hugged me again. People are so good.

I rushed over to Lori’s to get Aiden, then rushed down to Mercy..again, to have my
blood drawn..again. They wouldn’t know the results until the next day.

We took a walk that night, which was nice, but toward the end I started cramping
pretty badly. It hit me hard because I kept thinking, “I should be having cramps
because my belly is growing, not the opposite.” It’s not fair. The next morning
my stomach hurt like I had just done an ab workout. I knew it was from the night
before. So many reminders.

Back at school

Tuesday I went back to school. It was very hard, which I knew it would be, but I had
to be there. Both for my sanity and because the first day of school was the next day
and I wasn’t near being ready. I got an email from Amy right away when I got there.
She told me I was going to be okay, because I was going to do what I was meant to
do. She told me she sent something with Stacy.. it was a promise she held
onto for awhile and she wanted me to have it now. To keep it as long as I need it and
when I know someone else who needs it someday, pass it on. It was a rock with a
verse etched on it: For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to give you hope and a
future. I held that rock all day.

I had a several people stop in or text and say they were thinking of me. It was
hard every single time I heard it, but at the same time comforting to know I had
people who care surrounding me at school. Two teachers came in to tell me they
went through it as well. Karen and Chris. They hugged me, told me their stories,
and listened to mine. They told me it is okay to hurt, its okay to be sad, its okay
to take time for myself. They told me that after 12-15 years they still feel the pain
sometimes. I’m grateful to them.

I talked to Jana, who had just lost her dad a week earlier and was also grieving for a loss of a loved one. We talked about how it didn’t seem right that everyone else’s life moved on and ours had stopped completely. When I walked in the building that morning, that is exactly what I felt, "How is it possible that everyone else's life continues to move forward, and mine has so totally stopped?"

I kept thinking, “I just want this to be over.” And it just kept happening. I had more blood, more brown discharge, and a blood clot this day. I simply stopped going to the bathroom at school. Each time I did, it broke me further.

Tuesday night we spent some really great family time together. I missed Aiden
terribly that day and it was his first day back at Loris. We played when we got
home, we read books, we made supper, we played outside. When Jeff got home we
took a walk to the park and played, gave Aiden a bath, and lay in bed with him to
read him books before bedtime.

Normal. Nice.


Monday morning I went to school early to tell Dan. It was only the 4th person I
had told and it was all still extremely raw. I didn’t have to say much. He has gone
through this himself so he didn’t have to say much either. I told him, I cried, I went
home. I knew the second I walked in the building there was no way I could be there
that day.

Jeff and I went to my appointment with Dr. Lyons at 10:15. She was so wonderful to
us. Again, saying everything we needed to hear. And by this point I just didn’t want
to repeat it all and talk it about it, and she didn’t make us. She did want my blood
work again so I was poked for what felt like the 200th time. She gave me pills to take
once we got the call from the nurse after my blood work came back.  They would
"speed up the process".

The absolute worst part of this trip happened in the bathroom  at the office. I passed tissue.
I looked in the toilet for what seemed like forever trying to process it. It didn’t look like a baby.
It didn’t look like anything. Just a very small piece of tissue.
But Dr. Lyons words came back to me at that moment, she told me Saturday morning on
the phone that if I chose to wait and not go to the ER and passed any tissue, I would
have my “answer”. So it seemed I was looking at my answer. I almost screamed. I
almost fell on the floor and sobbed. I almost was sick. I almost scooped it out of
the toilet. To write it now, it seems almost..crazy, for lack of a better word, to say
that. But at the time I just didn’t know what to do. “Do I flush it?” “Is that part of
my baby?” “Should I go get Jeff?” “Should I show the doctor?” After searching my
head and heart for the answer I finally decided I needed to flush the toilet, wash my
hands, and go back to the waiting room to hold Jeff’s hand and wait for our name to
be called.

The nurse called later that day with directions from Dr. Lyons to not take the pills yet
and to come back in for more blood testing on Wednesday. I asked no questions.

Monday night was Meet and Greet at school. I knew I had to be there, for myself
and for the kids. I thought it might make me feel “normal” again, and it actually
did, if only for a couple hours. Allison came in to give me hugs and ask if I needed
anything. Jan and Jaime came in to do the same. It means a lot to have people care,
but it was hard to get those hugs and hear their words and not cry and ache again.
Every time I feel like I am out of tears…they start flowing again.

Monday night Amy and Stacy, my two angels, came to our house with flowers,
veggies and cupcakes. The flowers were beautiful, the veggies and cupcakes
yummy, but best of all, they just talked with me. Talked about normal things, like
school, and being a mom to toddlers. Once again, I felt almost “normal”. Thank God
for the people in my life.


The next day, Sunday, wasn’t much better. My mom did come down and stay that
night. She did exactly what we needed; took care of Aiden, did the laundry, the
dishes, made supper, rubbed my feet and my back, and was just…my mom.

The sobbing is something that I have never experienced. It comes on quickly.
Occasionally something will trigger it (seeing my Pregnancy apps on my phone that
I had been checking every day for a month, or taking my Prenatal vitamins), but
usually it was just out of the blue (in the middle of taking a bite at supper, standing
in Pizza Hut) I know it sounds cliché, but I can feel my heart
aching and breaking. It hurts..quite literally.

The emotions I felt were unlike anything I have ever felt. I was sad, angry,
confused…lost. I stared off into space thinking and not thinking. My eyes hurt from
crying and my head hurt from crying. I felt empty. Little things like brushing my
teeth or chewing my food seemed so irrelevant. I was scared to think how long it
would last.


On Saturday morning, August 11th, I started bleeding again. It wasn’t a whole lot, but it
was more than Wednesday and it was at that moment that I knew… things weren’t
okay. Jeff and Aiden had gone to the store to get diapers so I just got in the tub and

I called the on-call doctor. It just so happened that it was my doctor, Dr. Lyons,
who saw me through Aiden’s pregnancy and delivery. I hadn’t seen her yet for this
pregnancy, but to hear her voice comforted me, if only for a moment. She told me I
had two options at that point: wait until Monday and be seen in the office, or head
to the ER. Waiting wasn’t an option for us, so we packed up Aiden and went to

Little did I know that trip was turn out to be the single most emotionally exhausting
thing I have done in 28 years.

They took my blood, had me pee in a cup, took my vitals… then on to the things that
would give us some answers. Pelvic exam: looked good, no immediate bleeding was
seen. Then the ultrasound….

If they train these ultrasound techs to not show emotion, the one that did mine
missed the course. Almost instantly she looked…confused. That “off” feeling
of mine continued to creep forward and was taking over at this point. No more
thoughts of “It’s going to be okay.” Jeff and Aiden had taken off to the waiting room
because Aiden didn’t like it when the tech shut the lights off. About a minute after
they came back in and Aiden decided it was okay, she asked us if we were sure about
our date. “Yes?”

At this point she turned the monitor around so we could see it and said, “Well the
reason I ask is because I see a yolk sac, which is a good sign, but no baby. I measure
the sac at 5 and a half weeks.”

My life stopped. I have seen it on movies, heard about it, but never experienced
the “my life stopped”/ “my heart stopped beating” moment. I wish I never had
to. I don’t really remember what happened next, except that the tech left and said
something about being sorry for confusing me. I started crying and was exactly

The doctor came in next and sat down by me to explain that two things could be
happening. One, our dates were way off and its just too early to see a baby. Two,
I was in the process of having a miscarriage. My gut feeling told me the latter was
true, especially since it would have been almost 3 weeks off the date and to be
honest, it would be physically impossible for that to be true. She said some other
stuff, once again, I don’t really recall exactly what. At that point I had turned into
someone else. It was surely someone else’s life. Someone else’s results. Someone
else’s body. Surely. She left. I cried. Hard. Jeff held me and we didn’t say a word.
Aiden didn’t like it and kept telling me to “Stop crying Mommy, don’t do that.”
Normally I would do ANYTHING for my son, but I was hurting in a way I didn’t know
was possible and it wouldn’t go away.

Another nurse came in to talk with us some more, give us discharge papers, and tell
us all the things they are supposed to say. “It’s nothing you did.” “Hold out hope
that your date is just off.” “Here is the name of a support group..” Everyone was so,
so nice to us and very respectful. But I will always hate them for giving me
news that would so drastically change my life. Juvenile, probably, but I cant help it.

We left the ER. Once we hit the “outside world”, that I briefly forgot existed, I broke
down again. I literally was feeling my heart breaking and it was awful. I don’t
remember much of the ride home, just that I kept thinking, “I have to call my mom.”
When we got home I did call her. We cried. We were sad. We were confused. She
knew what I was going through. She knew the pain I was feeling. She told me it was
okay to be sad and cry.

I went out to school because I knew Stacy was there and I knew I needed her too. I
told her and she hugged me, told me it was okay to be sad, and took my hands and
prayed with me. I knew I needed Amy as well, but it was her little girls 1 year birthday
party so I decided to wait until after that. She did call me that night and we cried
and she said all the right things to me. The people in my life are remarkable, to say
the very least.

That day was etched in my memory forever. I broke down sobbing several times;
in the middle of taking a bite at suppertime, sitting on the couch watching TV, reading a book with Aiden. Jeff
and I were emotionally drained and didn’t do much talking, if any. We tried hard for
Aiden, but I know it was just a broken day.

The beginning of an end

July 16th, 2012 I found out I was going to be a mommy, for the 2nd time! We had been
trying for a few months, and in June, though too early to know for sure, thought it
was a possibility I miscarried, so we were VERY excited about this positive test.

I went through the usual symptoms; cravings (“Honey, I know it’s 9:00 but will you
go to the store and get me some popcorn and chocolate milk?”), extreme tiredness
(“No, I can’t walk from the bedroom to the bathroom, I’ll just pee my pants),
moodiness (“What do you mean we are out of popcorn?!??!?!?!), and having a nose
that could pick up ANYTHING (“I’m going to puke if you don’t take that hamburger
of the stove”).

So on Wednesday August 8, 2012, our 4th wedding anniversary, when I noticed
blood on the toilet paper, I was scared. I hadn’t bled with Aiden, so I didn’t know
what was normal and what wasn’t. To the books I went! The phrase “50 percent
of the time women who bleed go on to have a full term baby” did NOT make me
feel better. I tried some blogs. Those were a bit better, as I chose to only read
the “happy ending” ones.

Thursday proved to be a good day, no bleeding, no weird cramping or fever. So even
though in the back of my mind something was telling me things weren’t right.. I told
myself “Everything is okay, no more blood. It was just one of those things.”

Friday wasn’t as great. No blood, but lots of brown discharge. I called my doctors
office. The nurse I spoke with was very nice, and told me that as of now they just
want me to wait and see what happens. If I start bleeding again or pass blood clots
they want me to call back. And again, having that thought that somehting wasnt right
in the back of my mind, but not willing to bring it to the forefront yet.

This was the beginning of an end.